Adam Gertler is a cook, an entertainer and a full-time food enthusiast. As the charismatic star of Food Network’s Kid in a Candy Store and Will Work for Food, his playful sense of humor and willingness to do anything for a great meal earned him fans across the country. He has also appeared on The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Chefs vs. City and the upcoming The Best Thing I Ever Made, and was a finalist on Season Four of Food Network’s breakaway hit The Next Food Network Star.
Adam is also a gifted chef whose first restaurant, Philadelphia’s The Smoked Joint: A Barbecue Experience was named among Esquire magazine’s top new restaurants in the country.
On The Next Food Network Star, Adam advanced through to the final episode — which was, at the time, the highest rated episode of any Food Network program. Although he ultimately did not win the series, Adam was tapped by the network to host his first prime-time series, Will Work For Food, in 2009. The show saw Adam exploring the world of less-than-glamorous food jobs across the United States, from harvesting bees’ honey to milking goats for cheese to fishing for lobster in Maine.
In 2010, Adam explored his “freakier” side, hosting a series of specials for Fine Living Network. On Freakiest Vacations, Freakiest Festivals, and Freakiest Foods, Adam once again traveled the country, visiting events that ranged from a road kill cook-off to a coffin race to eating fine delicacies — such as still-writhing octopus. (And yes, before you ask, that is Adam as a merman in Vacations…!)
As a regular contributor to Food Network’s popular series The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Adam frequently gets to relive and share with the audience some of his favorite foods from across the country. He has also participated on Food Network’s competition series as well as .
Adam has also hosted Food Network Star: After Party, a show that partnered him with co-host Sunny Anderson for two years on Cooking Channel via Dish Network.
Most recently, as the host of Food Network’s prime-time series Kid in a Candy Store, Adam uncovered the best, most outrageous, most innovative and most loved sweet treats as he traveled the nation, visiting the bakeries, restaurants, food carts and factories where America’s favorites are produced.
Adam grew up with a supportive family who encouraged him to explore his many interests, including an acting career that began in fourth grade. In 1999, he graduated from Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. From Shakespeare to improv theater, Adam has participated in various stage work throughout his life, including a role where he spent 24 consecutive hours on stage.
In December 2002, Adam moved to Los Angeles for two years to continue his acting career, but his penchant for good food and cooking steered him toward a different career path. Whether as a short-order cook, caterer, or even donut filler and froster, food has always played an important role in Adam’s life. He developed a lingering passion for barbeque while in college, and quickly moved from experimenting with recipe ideas to catering for friends and family. A few years later, Adam relocated to Philadelphia to serve as the executive chef at The Smoked Joint: A Barbecue Experience, a restaurant co-owned by his brother, Keith Gertler.
The Smoked Joint earned raves from critics and fans alike. The Philadelphia Inquirer gushed that “there is such a dedication to slowpoke smoking and homemade preparations that the flavors here are unmistakably genuine…The Smoked Joint actually does it right, bathing its meat in the billows of smoldering hickory for up to 18 hours…they are so permeated with the poetry of sweet blue smoke and tingly rubbed spice that you can savor it well after the meal is done, licking your lips for one last taste before nodding off to dream of campfires and Memphis picnics.” Prior to opening The Smoked Joint, Adam and his brother, Keith Gertler, earned first prize in Philadelphia’s Neil Stein / Garry Maddox Barbecue Challenge for their barbecued chicken.
Today, Adam resides in Los Angeles. When he’s not shooting, he is obsessed with his backyard vegetable garden; perfecting the delicate art of sausage stuffing, curing and smoking; karaoke; comic books and building his own outdoor brick oven to support his ongoing culinary adventures.